Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said Friday that Roush Fenway Racing will enter a car for him in the 2012 Daytona 500. Stenhouse said he will be driving the No. 6 Ford, and RFR team spokesman Andrea Perry confirmed that information.

With David Ragan behind the wheel last season, the No. 6 finished 23rd in owners points. That guarantees Stenhouse a starting spot in February's race. It also locks the car into the first five races of the season, if RFR decides to go that route.

Calling it "a great start to the year," Stenhouse said he'll get his first chance to climb in the car during Preseason Thunder testing next week at Daytona International Speedway.

The Olive Branch, Miss., native is still planning on racing in the Chili Bowl Nationals midget car championship in Tulsa, Okla. the same weekend. Stenhouse won rookie of the year in both USAC midgets and sprint cars in 2007, the same year he accepted an offer from Jack Roush to transfer his talents to stock cars.

In his Sprint Cup debut, Stenhouse finished 11th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte last May, driving the Wood Brothers No. 21 Ford while Trevor Bayne was still recuperating from his bout with what he claimed was Lyme disease.

In four previous Nationwide Series starts at Daytona, Stenhouse has a pair of top-10 finishes, including a third in the July 2010 race. He finished eighth in the 2011 season opener.